All Science on Tap events take place at 6pm the second Monday of the month at National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, unless otherwise stated. Be sure to arrive early to get seats!

November 13, 2017

Gone Fishing…For Bugs! How Swann Fountain Helps Us Understand Urban Insects

Swann Fountain w emoji bugs Betancourt isabetabug
Philadelphia’s Swann Fountain (ft. emoji bugs!)

The urban environment presents unique challenges for insect collecting. The concrete, manicured landscapes, and constant flow of people create obstacles for setting up traditional insect traps. One fine day in 2013, when lunching in Logan Square, Curatorial Assistant of Entomology at the the Academy of Natural Sciences, Isa Betancourt, noticed insects floating around the waters of the fountain. From that day, the Swann Fountain Insect Project took off! It utilizes the Philly fountain fixture as the insect trap. During this evening of Science on Tap, become acquainted with your urban insect neighbors and hear tales unique to urban fountain field work.

Betancourt with swann fountain sample isabetabugAbout the speaker: Isa Betancourt is an entomologist, photographer, and science communicator in Philadelphia. As a Curatorial Assistant of Entomology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, when she is not collecting bugs from Swann Fountain, you’ll find her working with the pinned moth and butterfly specimens that are part of the Entomology Department’s 4-million specimen research collection. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Entomology and Plant Science from Cornell University and is currently working on earning a Master of Science in Communication degree at Drexel University. She hosts the weekly #BugScope live broadcast on Periscope, published a book called “Backyard Bugs of Philadelphia” this past summer, and likes to surf, play soccer, and harmonize while playing the ukulele.

September’s talk is hosted by the